Upgrading to State-of-the-Art Tools to Get Better Products

Bois-Lac-Saint-Jean successfully rebuilt and modernized to leverage the power of information and improve results.

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Following a fire that ravaged part of its planer mill in 2017, Bois-Lac-Saint-Jean in Hébertville, Saguenay Lac-St-Jean in Quebec, Canada, management faced a difficult decision: how to rebuild.


Rebuild part of its mill to more efficiently fulfill its orders for high-grade wood products.


Invest in modern equipment and tools to improve the effectiveness and performance of its planer mill.


An average increase of high grades of 7% and an overall vision of planing improvements.

The challenge

When Bois-Lac-Saint-Jean decided to rebuild the planer mill ravaged by fire, it faced two choices: minimize costs or modernize.

After proper consideration, mill management not only decided to rebuild but also to upgrade, counting on the potential gains in capacity, quality, and effectiveness doing so would yield.


The solution

Dimension monitoring at planing

Constantly on the hunt for innovative solutions to improve operational efficiency and product quality, Bois-Lac-Saint-Jean acquired a VAB Solutions lumber grading optimizer that come with the PMP SOLUTIONS performance tools for planing—PMP WePlane™.

Despite not being computer savvy, Armand Girard, mill manager at Bois-Lac-Saint-Jean, quickly understood the potential of the new tools at his fingertips. He eagerly embraced the technological shift offered by his latest acquisition.

Mere months of training on PMP WePlane (a PMP TeamMate™ module) began bearing fruit. In 2019, Mr. Girard claimed to have improved his equipment’s availability by approximately 45 minutes per shift—a gain of 15000–20000 board feet a day, equivalent to almost half a day of additional production a week.

“Thanks to PMP SOLUTIONS, we were able to identify availability problems by targeting the maintenance of equipment other than the optimizer itself,” said Mr. Girard. The mill therefore called upon subcontracting mechanics to improve the performance of its production line.

The benefits

Analyzing data with PMP WePlane real-time performance tools makes it easier to target improvement opportunities and better communicate clear objectives with the mill floor. Mr. Girard claims increasing, on average, 7% of the mill’s higher grade production.

To stay up to date and leverage all the power of its performance monitoring tools, the Bois-Lac-Saint-Jean management team regularly takes part in continuous improvement seminars offered by PMP SOLUTIONS.


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